Gone are the days of stodgy hotel restaurants featuring typical tourist menus to accommodate their guests. Today, hotels are competing to make their restaurants a destination not only for their own clientele but also to attract locals, sometimes bringing in top, well-established chefs.
Here are two newly opened restaurants we highly recommend.
The expanding hotel chain especially catering to Millennials and Millennials at heart, 25hours, has now opened its first branch in Paris. Conveniently located across from the Gare du Nord rail station, where the Eurostar departs, 25Hours opened in January with 237 rooms eclectically decorated in African-, Sri Lankan- and Indian-inspired pattern fabrics and retro-style furniture.
One essential element of the 25hours formula is Neni restaurants, an inspired mélange of Persian, Arabic French and Russian cuisine. Helmed by Haya Molcho and her four sons (NENI is an amalgam of the first letters of her sons' first names: Nuriel, Elior, Nadiv, and Ilan), they bring the Balagan style of serving family-size platters to their restaurants.
The recommended way of ordering from the menu is to choose three or four mezzes (small, appetizer plates) to share. We chose Sakuska, a blend of roasted peppers, tomato, and eggplant on sourdough bread with walnuts, baked sweet potato with salad and pumpkin seeds, crispy filo dough “cigars” stuffed with spiced beef, and pine nuts. So rich with flavor, texture, and freshness, we thoroughly cleaned our plates, craving more, but we knew better to save room for our next course. For our main course, we shared sabich, a version of the popular Tel Aviv street food, prepared with fried eggplant, hummus, tomato salad, and a mango-tinged tahini sauce; another big winner, we practically fought over the last bite. A sweet finish was knafeh, an Israeli specialty from Jerusalem, a superlight crepe, with mozzarella and ricotta, topped with chopped pistachios and homemade, yogurt ice cream.
Under a large-scale glass roof constructed in the same workshops as the Eiffel Tower, La Chinoiserie is the luxurious restaurant at the Hyatt Paris Madeleine Hotel. The newly appointed chef, Sebastien Roux, has brought his refined but adventurous cuisine to his new appointment. Roux has climbed the culinary ladder at a myriad of top hotels and restaurants in Paris, including Hotel du Louvre, Hotel Scribe, and Le Pur at the five-star Park Hyatt Paris Vendome.
We enjoyed an impressive lunch tasting earlier this month. It was a chilly day and we were seated in front of the cozy fireplace in the opulently appointed, casual chic dining room. One of the nice touches was the widely spaced tables, which are hard to come by in the usually cramped Paris cafes and bistros.
For our appetizer, we had a green lentil salad with thin-sliced, air-dried beef and arugula was topped with fresh, seasonal white asparagus and cooked to perfection. The free-range chicken, accompanied with crispy corn, soft whipped potatoes, and wilted spinach was succulent and moist.
As a special surprise, Chef Roux came to our table and served us his dessert specialty, soft meringue shards with a raspberry puree and mascarpone whipped cream, a fabulous finish to a top-notch, well-executed meal.
La Chinoiserie serves breakfast and lunch daily and serves tapas and cocktails after 7PM. Jazz night is every Thursday from 7PM to 10PM.
Neni Paris at 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord
12 Boulevard de Denain, 75010
La Chinoiserie at Hyatt Paris Madeleine
24 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75008